Looking for a knee brace for bjj? When should you considering wearing a knee sleeve or knee brace for Brazilian jiu jitsu training?
Of all of my closest sparring partners that have trained Brazilian jiu jitsu for over 5 years, majority of them have used a knee sleeve or knee brace at one time during their jiu jitsu training.
Luckily for me, I never had any serious knee injury.
However, during training my knee will sometimes get sore, and it will be uncomfortable to put pressure on my knee during drilling or sparring.
During these periods, I’ll pop on a knee sleeve to give some extra cushion during jiu jitsu or wrestling. Since I have plenty of experience training in knee sleeves, I put together this post on finding the best bjj knee brace for bjj.
Knee braces or knee sleeves provide padding, support, and stability during Brazilian jiu jitsu training which is a sport that requires practitioners to be on their knees for periods of time. Additionally, knee injuries are one of the most prevalent injuires in bjj so having a solid knee sleeve is always a good idea.
Knee injuries, including sprains and tears to the knee ligaments, meniscus, or simple knee discomfort or soreness that comes on suddenly while training, are among the most common injuries in Jiu-Jitsu.
In this post, we’ll take a quick look at some of our top recommended knee sleeves and knee braces for bjj training as well as other frequently asked questions surround knee sleeves and knee injuries.
Best Jiu Jitsu Knee Braces – At a Glance
Our recommendation for the top knee braces for Brazilian Jiu Jitsu are:
Neenca Knee Brace – Best Overall Knee Sleeve for BJJ
(the one I personally use* – see above pic of me actually wearing it)
Bauerfeind GENUTRAIN Knee Brace – Higest Quality* Knee Sleeve
Jiu Jitsu Knee Braces – Comparison Chart
Finding the Best Knee Brace for Jiu-Jitsu
Although there is a wide selection of knee braces on the market, it is essential to remember that finding the best one for your needs will depend on several factors.
You need to consider factors like
- level of compression
During BJJ training you will be doing a lot of moving and will often be on your knees or may land on your knees not to mention other knee injuries that may occur during sparring or submissions
So its not rare that you may come across knee soreness or knee injuries.
Having a solid knee sleeve or knee brace is something that many bjj practitioners will need at some point during their training.
You need a knee sleeve that provides stability, comfort and padding during training.
Best Knee Braces for Jiu Jitsu
COLORS: Black, Blue, Gray, Pink Gray, S Beige, High Copper, Navy Blue, Skin
SIZES: X-Small – XXX-Large
|+Spring knee support technology|
|+Medical knee sleeve for Meniscus Tear, Arthritis, ACL, PCL, MCL|
|+Provides support without being restrictive**|
If you’re looking for a little padding and support while doing bjj, but don’t want to deal with velcro straps, bulky sleeves or knee braces that restrict your movement then this should be your #1 pick.
I, personally, prefer knee sleves of knee braces. Since I’ve never had any serious knee injuries and just deal with knee soreness from time to time, I prefer a knee sleeve for a little extra padding.
Vs Knee Braces with Velcor Straps
Knee braces with velcro straps (like theEzyFit Knee Brace or the Winzone Knee Brace) do offer some solid support, but when I used these I felt like they restricted my movement, dug into my leg, and were overall just uncomfortable to roll with in jiu jitsu.
If you have a more serious knee injury I think knee braces with velcro straps are great, but for majority of people with minor injuries or soreness, I strongly recommend a knee sleeve (without straps).
Vs Bauerfeind Knee Sleeve
The Neenca knee sleeve is affordable, solid quality, and just gets the job done. The only knee sleeve that may top it is the one below from Bauerfeind. The Bauerfeind knee sleeve is more expensive, and I felt it to be slightly more comfortable, but overall it was pretty comparable to the Neenca knee sleeve.
COLORS: Small – XX-Large
SIZES: Black, Blue, Coal, Gray, Green, Orange, Pink, Purple, Slate Blue, Steel Blue
If you’re looking for a knee sleeve that doesn’t get in the way and provides some support, the Cambivo knee sleeve may be a good option. While I found it comfortable, flexible, and definitely didn’t get in the way of training, I felt the padding was a bit lacking when compared to the Neenca knee sleeve.
|+3D knitting technology|
|-May not offer enough support|
|-Not great for long distance walking or running|
The Cambivo knee braces are designed with a unique 3D knitting technology. Its uniformly disseminated weave effectively provides enough equal pressure to stabilize and support your knee and warms it.
The flexibility of the cloth, in addition to its breathability, helps to keep sweating to a minimum. It has good compression to ease soreness and increase blood flow to the knee region without restricting your movements while doing BJJ.
COLORS: Black, Orange, Blue, Green, Gray/Turquoise, High-Copper, Pink, Purple, Skin, Full Blue
SIZES: Small – XXX-Large
|+Made from a blend of Nylon and Latex|
|-May not always stay in place|
Another qualit compression knee sleeve is this one from Modvel. It’s definitely a solid option and comparable to other knee sleeves, but during training I just found it didn’t quite stay in place as well as the others.
The high-elastic fabric and breathable composition of the Modvel knee braces does help keep your kneecap and general joints stable (with its side stabilization) and comfortable. It also helps and aids in meniscus tear or joint pain smooth recovery.
SIZES: Medium – XL
I personally recommend knee braces with velcro straps for more serious injuires or people who want more compression and support.
|+Anti-slip and Bi-directional strap systems|
|-Velcro straps may be too restrictive|
Yes, it does off more support than a knee sleeve, but some may find it to be unconfortable or to get in the way of training (which is what I found when training in them).
For more serious injuries, stabilizing the patella by alternatingly wrapping it from all directions helps to lessen knee joint pain and ensures that it remains securely in position while you grapple and move. Additionally, quadruple-side stabilizers provide maximum lateral support.
Having your patella open can also provide some relief from patella tendonitis, and it also enables the joint to move freely.
The Winzone Knee Stabilizer provides the knee with moderate support that can withstand the stresses of everyday activities at home, work, or sports, as well as twisting and moving from side to side. I do like its minimal velcro traps and found it to be less cumbersome than other knee braces with straps.
|+Velcro straps for extra support|
|+Stretch Breathable Neoprene|
|-Straps may have to pulled tight which can lead to discomfort|
Your leg will remain firm while it recovers thanks to the brace’s small and compact design, which allows it to be concealed under clothes. Because it is secured with velcro straps, it also has a significant level of adjustability.
It efficiently helps alleviate most acute and chronic knee pain. It is excellent for post-surgery rehabilitation. The support and compression around the kneecap and tendon regions heal injuries and minimize them during intensive training in BJJ.
The Bauerfeind Genutrain Knee Brace is definitely on the higher end of knee braces you will find.
With a price tag of $99, it may not be the choice for most. If you’re willing to spend a bit more and looking for a knee brace thats great for milder strains and aches you really can’t go wrong with Bauerfeind.
To be honest, when I tested out and trained in a Bauerfeind knee brace vs say a Neenca or Powerlix knee brace, I really didn’t notice much of a difference. However, what you’re likely paying for at this higher price tag is durability and fit. So if those are your biggest concerns definitely give Bauerfeind a shot.
|+No movement restriction|
|-On the expensive end|
The Shock Doctor Knee Sleeve is ideal to help out with any knee instability without restricting
|+Comfortable, breathable material|
|-May have to size up|
|-A bit bulky|
COLORS: Beigh/BLack/Light Blue/Gray/Pink/Orange
The POWERLIX Knee Compression Sleeve is made with one goal in mind – to provide stability without restriction. This knee sleeve is great if you are dealing with a minor injury or soreness.
|+80% Nylon 20% Spandex|
|+Allows for great range of motion|
|+Comfort around patella|
|-May have to size down|
The McDavid Knee Brace is made for maximum support with velcro and side hignes. With that in mind, it may be consider on the bulky side for some. While it does offer maximum support if you’re not a fan of velcro, side hinges, or a larger knee sleeve this may not be the one for you.
If you dealing with a nagging knee injury that just won’t go away it may be the right time to upgrade your knee sleeve to this one from McDavid since it offers more stability (even at the cost of more restriction).
|+Great stability and support|
|+Great opition before looking at custom knee braces|
|-Have to keep velcor traps tight to keep it in place|
|-May limit mobility|
When Should You Wear A Knee Brace?
When it comes to knee injuries, prevention is always better than cure.
Wearing a knee brace during athletic activities such as Brazilian Jiu Jitsu can help reduce your risk of injury and provide extra support for existing injuries.
When should you start wearing a knee brace?
If you have any existing knee pain or an old injury that has recently flared up, it’s best to wear a knee brace from the get-go and put one on as soon as possible.
This will ensure your joints are properly supported when performing high impact moves at the first sign of injury.
Additionally, if you’re at a higher risk of developing knee issues (due to age, genetics or other factors), then investing in a good quality knee brace could be beneficial.
It’s also important to consider the severity of your joint pain or injury before deciding on whether or not to wear a knee brace. If the pain is chronic or severe, then definitely invest in one sooner rather than later to minimize further damage and get back on track with your training routine safely.
Overall, it’s always best to consult with your doctor first as they’ll be able to advise you on the best time and type of brace for your individual needs if you are dealing with a chronic knee injury.
A BJJ Knee Brace Isn’t Always a Perminant Solution
A BJJ knee brace may not be the permanent solution – especially when dealing with chronic or severe knee injuries.
Wearing a BJJ knee brace is just one way to stay safe and avoid injuries in training or competition.
- It’s also essential that you warm up/cool down properly before and aftereach session
- practice with caution at all times by choosing your training partners wisely and training with technique and control in mind.
If you find yourself with persistent knee injuries it may be time to consult a professional and maybe consider taking time away from jiu jitsu to avoid further injury down the line.
How to Protect your Knees in Jiu Jitsu
It’s important to take precautions when practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) to protect your knees from injury.
The first step, again, is always to make sure you warm up properly and use proper technique, whether you’re drilling or sparring.
Some other things to keep in mind are to:
- Know your limits
- Avoid overtraining
- Address any soreness, tightness during training or sparring immediately
Pushing yourself too hard can cause more harm than good, remember bjj is a marathon and not a sprint.
Why Wear a Knee Brace for BJJ?
Suppose you’ve sustained a minor knee injury or blow to your knee. In that case, a knee brace or sleeve can help pad and stabilize your knee joint. Knee braces are needed in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, especially when training, where you often put pressure on your knees.
Knee braces should be worn by those experiencing knee discomfort, people with an injured knee, or someone who wants to avoid it.
Reasons You’d Wear a Knee Brace for BJJ?
Knee support is an essential piece of gear for any jiu-jitsu practitioner. Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned veteran, having the right kind of knee support can make all the difference when it comes to preventing and managing injuries.
Knee supports come in a variety of shapes and sizes, so it’s important to choose one that fits your individual needs.
For instance, if you’re dealing with an existing injury, you’ll want to look for something with extra padding and stability for added protection like a knew brace with velcro and side hinges. On the other hand, if you just need some extra support during practice, a lighter knee sleeve may be sufficient.
No matter what kind of knee support you decide on, remember that proper fit is key.
Recovering from a Knee Injury
When dealing with the discomfort of a ligament sprain, a dislocated patella, a meniscus tear, or knee stiffness, it’s crucial to wear the appropriate knee brace.
Following treatment, your knee joint will continue to lack strength. The tendon tissue starts to recover from the injury. You may avoid knee discomfort by using knee braces as much as possible.
By providing additional support and compression to the joint, a knee brace aids healing by reducing pressure inside the joint and increasing blood flow.
Lessen Knee Impact
A knee injury is inevitable in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. If you wear a knee brace and take a fall, the impact on your knees should lessen, decreasing the likelihood of damage.
Knee braces alleviate the soreness and swelling that might occur after a fall or particularly strenuous training.
The patella, or kneecap, is only encapsulated by a thin layer of muscle and skin, leaving the knee vulnerable. When the knee is bent, there is less space between the ground and the patella, increasing the risk of injury.
Knee braces provide extra padding, reducing injury occurrence and letting you train harder and for longer without fear of damage. It allows you to commit to your BJJ techniques without inhibitions fully.
Knee braces provide an additional degree of stability, which supports your injuries and assists in your recovery from sprains.
It also aids in the healing of a torn meniscus, which is helpful since. The meniscus’s job is to support the joint and serve as a shock absorber when the knee is under tremendous pressure.
Do Knee Braces Help in BJJ?
Knee braces are helpful in BJJ knee injury and other problems, considering all that has been mentioned about them above.
Even if you don’t have a severe knee injury from grappling, you’ll probably experience some knee discomfort at some point or another while you’re training and competing.
Protecting your knees with a BJJ knee brace will allow you to grapple without worrying much about injury. In BJJ, especially in no gi, the knees are particularly vulnerable, but these pads provide immediate protection.
It is helpful to have knee pads that fit comfortably and offer compression to increase blood flow. BJJ knee pads use compression to reduce trauma in the impact. And, of course, knee braces will aid in rehabilitating an injury, allowing you to return to training BJJ as soon as possible.
Do I Need to Wear a Knee Brace While Training or Sparring?
While wearing a knee brace or knee sleeve certainly isn’t necessary for training bjj or other grappling martial arts, they are a good tool to properly deal with knee soreness or minore knee injuries.
The two scenarioes that are most common in which you will see some training with a knee brace are:
- If they are dealing with a recent injury that they are currently trying to rehab
- They have had knee injuries in the past and don’t want to re-injur them
Do Knee Braces Strengthen Knees?
Knee braces help by providing extra stability and support while also keep your knees in proper alignment.
Some people believe that wearing a knee brace can help improve strength in the joint, however this isn’t strictly true. Whilst they do provide support and stability, they don’t give you any significant advantage when it comes to strength.
The best way to strengthen your knees is by doing regular exercises such as lunges or squats and stretching before and after training. This will help build up the muscles around your joints and ensure that they remain healthy and injury free.
Overall, knee braces are an important tool for protecting your knees while practicing BJJ or any other martial art. But be sure not to rely on them alone – combine them with regular exercise, proper technique, warm ups, cool downs, and protective gear.
Why do my knees hurt after BJJ?
It’s no secret that doing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu can be hard on your knees.
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced practitioner, it’s not uncommon to feel knee pain when grappling. But why does this happen?
The most common reason for knee pain in BJJ is overfatigue and over use.
It can be easy to push yourself too hard when training and this can take a toll on your body, especially the joints and ligaments in your knees.
With all the submissions, takedowns, sweeps and other techniques used in BJJ, it’s no surprise that our knees often get strained and sore.
To help prevent knee pain, ensure you take regular breaks during training sessions and always warm up before starting any exercise. Additionally, focus on technique rather than brute strength – good form will help reduce the strain on your knees while still allowing you to perform effectively.
Finally, don’t forget to stretch after training! This will help loosen up tight muscles and ease any residual soreness in your joints.
Common Knee Injuries in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Since we already know about the benefits of wearing a knee brace, let’s discuss the reasons for its usage: the injuries.
The following are the common knee injuries in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu:
- Knee Sprains – knee sprains are injuries to any of the four types of knee ligaments —the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), Lateral Collateral Ligament (LCL), and Posterior Cruciate Ligament (PCL).
- Knee Strains – Knee strains may develop when a muscle or tendon in the knee is ripped or strained, whereas tendons are the fibrous cords that link muscles to bones. In most cases, one will feel the soreness outside the knee joint.
- Knee Dislocation – when the thighbone’s normal alignment to the knee joint’s shinbone is pushed off, this condition is known as a dislocated knee. It may occur if you suffer from a fall or grappling injury.
- Knee Fractures – A bone in the knee joint that is broken or torn is referred to as a knee fracture. Typical symptoms include pain in the knee joint, swelling, and bruising of the knee.
Recovering from a Knee Injury
Knee injuries can be extremely debilitating, leaving you unable to do even the simplest activities without pain.
Fortunately, there are steps you can take to help ensure a successful recovery:
- First of all, it’s important to understand the injury itself — what type of knee injury is it? How severe is it? Knowing more about your injury will help guide your recovery plan.
- Second, RICE therapy is often recommended for knee injuries. This stands for Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. Resting the injured area helps reduce pain and swelling while icing can also provide relief from inflammation. Compression wraps or sleeves can be used to help support the joint and prevent further damage while elevating the leg above heart level increases circulation which can speed up healing time.
- Finally, make sure to seek medical advice from a qualified professional if needed. They may prescribe medications or physical therapy exercises as part of your treatment plan – both of which can help with long-term recovery goals. Additionally, Bauerfeind’s GenuTrain line of knee braces and supports have been proven effective in treating knee injuries by providing medical-grade compression that helps increase oxygenating blood flow to the injured joint.
Rehabbing a knee injury can be hard work but be patient and don’t go back into hard training too soon.
What’s the difference between Knee Brace and Knee Sleeve for BJJ?
While the terms knee brace and knee sleeve may be interchangeable, its important to note that generally Knee braces are larger, bulkier, and often come with velcro straps. Knee braces may offer more support but also may restric movement more. They also may include velcro straps. On the other hand, knee sleeves are usually slip on and do not include velcro straps. I, personally, find knee sleeves to interfer less in bjj training.
Some manufacturers will use knee brace and knee sleeve interchanageably.
For a knee treatment, a specialist will often require you to wear a knee brace or a knee sleeve. It is also precisely what we hear when someone suggests purchasing knee protection gear for ourselves for BJJ. But what is a knee brace and sleeve? Are there any differences between the two of them?
Knee brace and knee sleeves primarily serve as support and protection, but the difference comes in their level.
Most knee braces assist in protecting the knee joint from injuries that have occurred or may occur. In contrast, the purpose of knee sleeves is to offer compression. Although this does not shield the knee joint from outside pressures, it may improve how you move.
Knee braces are advised after a severe knee injury and give more significant support than a sleeve. Knee braces are bulkier than sleeves and have straps and hinges.
A knee sleeve will go into a tight position around your knee. There are no straps to adjust, and the compression of the sleeve will lessen any swelling, reducing any discomfort that may experience.
See the photo for comparison:
Types of Knee Braces
There are various knee braces, each serving a particular purpose.
Here are some of the varieties of knee braces:
- Functional braces – knees previously damaged may benefit from functional braces that provide support.
- Rehabilitation braces – are worn by patients after knee surgery or injury to prevent the knee from moving in ways that might compromise the healing process.
- Prophylactic braces – knee braces designed to prevent or reduce future injuries
- Patellofemoral braces – are designed to facilitate a smooth kneecap movement across the knee joint.
In addition to the kinds secured with straps, knee braces are also in the form of sleeves. Some contain hinges, which provide a higher degree of protection after the surgery. Additionally, a knee brace may have either a closed or opened patella, with the open having a hole in the middle of the patella and the closed variety not having one.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Can You Wear Knee Pads in BJJ?
Yes, you can wear knee pads in BJJ. Buying protective gear and equipment continues beyond gis or rashguards. Knee pads offer extra protection for the kneecaps, which is essential for BJJ practitioners.
How Tight Should a Knee Brace Be?
Your knee braces should be tight, but not enough that it severely limits your movement or proper circulation. It would be best if you also considered your comfort and breathability.
How Long Do Knee Braces Last?
How your knee braces last depend on how and where you use them and how you care for them. It usually lasts long (for years), given that the knee braces are made from high-quality materials, such as fabric, velcros, and hinges.
How Do I Care for Knee Brace
Proper care of a knee brace is also taking care of oneself. After using it in your training, cleaning and washing your braces is recommended. Make sure to check if your knee braces are machine washable. If not, clean your knee braces in cold water and light soap, let them soak and move them from time to time before rinsing and air-drying.
Should I Wear Knee Pads All the Time for BJJ?
No, it is not necessary to wear knee pads in BJJ. This decision is purely on your preference. But if a knee pad or sleeve adds more comfort to your BJJ training, then yes, feel free to wear them during all your training.
Can You Wear a Knee Brace in a BJJ Competition?
Yes, you can wear a knee brace in competitions. Most competitions allow you to wear some knee brace or sleeve during matches. But of course, you should check the approved garments and gear of the competition before wearing one first.
What Are the Best Knee Sleeves for Meniscus Tear?
A torn cartilage between the femur and tibia is a meniscus tear brought on by motions such as rapid twisting.
Knee braces can provide the knee with support and stability. However, when you have a meniscus tear, it is better to have one that is neither too loose nor too tight and has excellent compression.
After surgery on their meniscus, patients often benefit from using an unloader brace.
An unloader brace helps to lessen the load placed on one of the knee’s compartments by releasing pressure from the afflicted side of the knee joint. It expedites the healing process and eases discomfort.
Wrestling Knee Brace
Wrestling knee braces are similar to BJJ knee pads in that they are worn on the knees to protect them from impact and injuries sustained during the sport.
But some wrestling knee braces are more cushioned than others and are constructed of neoprene since the tactics included in wrestling involve a lot of takedowns, throws, and slides. However, the design of the majority of knee braces is for a variety of sports and martial arts.
Is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Hard on Knees?
There is not a single grappling technique, style, or sport that is gentle on the knees. Therefore, it is unfortunate to say that BJJ may be hard on the knees.
Though avoiding dangerous procedures can prevent you from hurting your knee, you can still end up in it if the grappling continues. Knees are delicate joints prone to injury when subjected to excessive force or not in a good position.
H3:Should You Wrap Your
Top 5 Best BJJ Knee Braces – Conclusion
If you are an avid Brazilian Jiu Jitsu practitioner, it’s alwaysimportant to protect your knees from potential injuries.
In this post, we have reviewed the best knee braces for BJJ and highlighted some of the most common knee injuries in this sport.
We also discussed the difference between a knee brace and sleeve and provided tips on how to choose the right type of knee support for your needs.
Finally, we shared our top pick for the best knee brace for Jiu Jitsu practitioners. If you have any questions or need help choosing the right product, don’t hesitate to contact us.
We would be happy to assist you in finding the perfect solution for keeping your knees healthy while training Jiu Jitsu.
Thanks for reading, and see you at the next one! – Zack